Commission agrees with Canada and Iceland to fight illegal fishing
The European Commission has just signed two administrative cooperation agreements with Canada and Iceland which mark a new step in the parties' efforts to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The EU has been committed to fight against IUU fishing for over a decade, but intensified its actions by adopting the so-called "IUU Regulation" in September 2008. The Regulation forms part of the EU fisheries control policy and will enter into force on 1 January 2010. The agreed records between the parties recognise that the control systems in place in the two countries equal the level of control laid down in the European Regulation. The agreements will also enhance the cooperation in the fight against IUU fishing between the respective authorities. One of the core elements of the IUU Regulation is the introduction of a catch certification scheme which will ensure that all maritime fisheries products which are to be traded with the EU are obtained in compliance with existing conservation and management measures.
The IUU Regulation is a transparent and non-discriminatory instrument applying to all fishing vessels engaged in the commercial exploitation of fishery resources in all maritime waters. It seeks to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing in as much as they are linked to the EU either through trade to and from its territory or the involvement of EU nationals in IUU fishing activities conducted under any flag. It also provides a comprehensive legal basis for operational cooperation between third countries and the EU to combat IUU fishing more efficiently.